Kelly was hiding beneath a door that had come off its hinges; the bottom half was wedged in the door frame and the top half was resting on the kitchen table. Her hand was clasped over her mouth as she tried to stay quiet and control her breathing.
Kelly lived on her own in a 1st floor flat on an estate in Dagenham, East London.
It was about 2am when she woke up. Her bed was shaking, the ornaments decorating her room were rattling and the two pictures on her wall crashed to the floor as the rumbles ended.
The last time she felt anything similar was in 2008 – she woke up to an earthquake then too.
There was a little delay after, but then she could hear dogs barking, car and house alarms going off and people shouting and children crying.
But then she heard screaming, then she heard more screaming.
Had someone been killed by that little tremor? She thought.
She jumped out of bed, but there was screaming coming from everywhere. Even the hall on her floor.
She pulled on her joggers and hoody piled up next to her bed, and as she went out the bedroom door she slotted her feet into her trainers. She looked through the spyhole in her front door and saw someone rush past.
Was there a fire? Becoming a little frantic, she undid the Yale lock, turned the key and finally took the hook off the catch.
She opened the door in a scramble and as she was about to head out, she saw Mrs Jackson from number 14 on the floor holding a bloody hand out to her. A man in a Tracksuit covered in blood was clawing at her chest like a dog trying to find a bone.
“Mrs Jackson”, Kelly screamed. The hooded man looked up and snarled. He leapt forward but Kelly was still behind the door. She slammed it closed as he thudded against it.
She ran to find her mobile phone out of her bedroom when there was another rumble. This time the shaking was a terrifying rocking. The floor and the walls were vibrating -big, swaying vibrations.
Seconds after the violent tremor began, giant cracks began to appear. She could hear the pots and pans rattling out of the cupboards in the kitchen and smashing to the floor.
She managed to make it into the kitchen as her front door banged open. The ceiling just before the kitchen door began to collapse. The kitchen door cracked off forcing her to the ground under its weight. The door had become wedged above her, protecting her from the rest of the smashing and crashing which was so loud she had to clamp her hands over ears.
For a long time she held her hands on her ears and her eyes were so tightly clamped shut that it hurt when she finally opened them.
She didnt know she had been screaming until the tremor finally came to an end. She stopped a few seconds after it finished, the shrill sound ringing through her head.
There were no car alarms this time. No house alarms and the screaming seemed to have stopped for the moment.
A pipe had burst and Kelly could feel her clothes shrink to her legs the cold water hit.
She began to try and wiggle free when she heard a snarl from above the door.
MAIN CAST: Jackson A. Dunn, David Denman, Elizabeth BAnks
RUNNING TIME: 1hr 30min
There are spoilers below…
I try and avoid movie trailers out of fear that they will spoil a film or take something away from it. Most of the time I feel like they show way too much information and as though they somehow force me to develop an opinion about a film before I have even seen it.
Brightburn was one of those times I ended up seeing the trailer and although I wouldn’t necessarily say I developed an opinion about the film I did start thinking up questions about it and I was coming back to Superman every-time.
ooooo, I thought, interesting – my initial reaction to the first few seconds of the trailer. Then as it went on I began to cringe a little, ah I don’t know. I mean, a bad Superman? Is that where they’re going with this? We’ve seen Superman turn bad. Then again, we’ve never seen him start out bad. Ok – they’re either gona do this good or it’s gona be real bad.
I kept seeing odd buzz words around the film though: Horror, Gory, Bad seed, Evil Superhero. I was wondering, how dark is this gona be?
When I thought about a bad Superman, I couldn’t help going back to the 1983 Superman III starring Christopher Reeve. It’s the one where Superman splits into an evil version of himself after being exposed to synthetic kryptonite. He becomes a bit of a horny, juvenile alcoholic. Sure some of the stuff he does is a bit bad, but considering the power he wields he doesn’t go thatmental. This got me hoping Brightburn wasn’t just about a moody Mama’s boy going through puberty.
To be fair, the trailer made it quite clear the little dude in this film was one step ahead of getting wasted, blowing out the Olympic Torch and straightening out the Leaning Tower of Pisa (Superman III). He is definitely a bit of a psycho, but how far was he really going to go? Was he just going to maim people? Or was this angelic looking kid going to just go to full on Killing sprees? I think there’s a few occasions in the DC comics where Superman goes a bit nuts and even starts killing members of the Justice League, so maybe he will go that far?
The Gunn brothers, Mark and Brian, that wrote the screenplay are adamant the film is not based on a ‘bad Superman’, but an already evil alien raised on earth. I don’t read about films until I’ve seen them so most of this I didn’t really pick up until afterward.
However, perhaps I should have observed that statement a little harder while I watched it. I got caught up on this whole Evil Superman parallel, that it was easy to only see the Superman element.
Yes! There’s bunch of references paying homage to Superman from the red cape to the laser beam eyes. Yes! Like the Superman back-story, a baby crash lands on a farm and Mr & Farmer decide to raise the baby as their own, but you can read more about all those on another site.
Forget for a minute that Brightburn had anything to do with Superman at all.
What got my skin crawling is what’s implied about Brandon’s backstory and what he’s going through. After much consideration, I think Brandon is less like Superman – and more like some killer Wasp-Bee alien, and here’s why.
To give that a little more context, I’m going to start from the scene in the school where Brandon talks about bees and wasps.
By the complex answer he gives his teacher when they’re learning about the Bees and the Wasps Brandon appears to be smarter than the average kid. The other children tease Brandon; he is clearly different to them and maybe they all sense that.
I don’t think this scene just makes a point about how smart Brandon is, or how the other kids in the class are bullying him. I think this scene is a big clue about why he landed on Earth and what makes this film stand away from Superman.
I’ll expand on what Brandon talks about to show where I’m coming from. Brandon says about the aggressive nature of wasps and how they don’t have the ability to create hives so they take them over by brute force. True Brood Wasps are insects that infiltrate host nests as larvae (like Brandon as a baby) and are raised by the adult hosts (like Tori and Kyle). Cuckoo Bumblebees do the same, but also release pheromones in order to slip past bee security and kill or subdue the queen of entire colonies and take them over, forcing the host worker-hive to feed their offspring.
I think showing him being bullied is by the other kids at school could also be seen as they are poking the wasp nest – so to speak but I won’t get carried away.
When Brandon wakes up in the middle of the night after a seizure, the hidden space-vessel he came in seems to have sent out psychic messages awakening his powers of strength, flight and speed (not to mention the laser eyes). Later in the film Brandon cracks the psychic code and realises its telling him to TAKE THE WORLD – which he seems to take to like a Cuckcoo Bee takes a colony.
Yeah, from here on in, Brandon starts displaying a whole load of manipulative and twisted behaviour that involves bloodshed and threats – but there’s a fair few indicators that what he’s been going through doesn’t just start after the seizure in bed.
Knowing that despite his innocent appearance, Brandon is not a real human child, Kyle points out the things he’s noticed as they have raised him.
Kyle and Tori discover some magazine clippings which aren’t just teenage boy spank-bank material. Beneath a few pictures of bikini models, there’s pictures and drawings of the anatomy of people. The notebook that he is always writing in is quite tatted and used up and when we see it later in the film, there’s a lot of disturbing content (even the logo he stamps everywhere is like a rudimentary bee or wasp stamp). It all suggests these are things that have been playing on his mind for a while. It’s not quite as simple as a Space-ship talking to him awakening some sudden urge to kill, it seems Brandon has been wondering what people look like from the inside-out, for a lot longer.
Does he want to know our anatomy so he can kill us easily? Does he want to lay eggs in our abdomen? Is he going to eat us when he is done? I mean, when he stuck his finger in the blood on his dying uncles face, I half expected him to lick it off!!
Ok I aren’t clutching at straws here – I can give this Bee-Wasp Alien theory a bit more traction.
Another part of the film that seems to back up the idea of Brandon infiltrating Earth to potentially colonise it like the Cuckoo Bee, is his interest in Caitlyn. Despite the fact that he crushes her hand, in some sort of controlling and manipulative effort he still wants to pursue her sexually. The reason I specifically say sexually, is because the first thing he does after Kyle ‘gives him the talk (about the birds and the bees‘) is stalk her in her bedroom. It’s also more carnal than it is romantic especially because he actually stalks her. Even after he breaks her hand he is still imposing. Has he intended her as his mate?
Ok so enough about that – one of thee main and most definitive reasons I think Brandon is a Wasp Monster… The insect-like hooded-mask he wears. I mean, come on, could you get more symbolic than that? He hovers like a wasp, he moves at speed like a wasp, he’s aggressive and parasitic and imposing – he even wears a wasp mask!!
So if I forget for a minute that the word Superman is even remotely related to this little monster, I become extremely creeped out. I reckon Brandon is more likely from a liege of Super Wasp Aliens that can morph into their hosts, permeate an entire planet and destroy it with no conscience.
If you think I’m totally off the mark then message me or comment. I’d love to hear it.
MAIN CAST: Gabriel Bateman, Mark Hamill, Aubry Plaza
RUNNING TIME: 1hr 30min
There are spoilers below…
The year before I was born, Charles Lee Ray possessed a doll and began a murder rampage that lasted over 30 years-
well he didn’t, ’cause Charles Lee Ray was a fictional character in a film called Child’s Play – but the Doll, Chucky was recognised by any kid born in the 90’s as the franchise kept pumping out horror films. We even saw Chucky get married and have a kid!
Ok, so by the time he had that kid, anyone who saw the original few movies was beginning to get a little bored (to put it nicely) and by the time Cult of Chucky came out, Chucky was nose-diving into box-office bomb-oblivion.
The other night I went to see a contemporary take on my favourite killer toy and I don’t know what I expected (I’d purposely not even read a synopsis on the new film), but I did not expect what I got.
I was sold. Reboots are risky business. You may have the die-hard fans of the originals who want scrutinise every frame for fault; pre-dispostioned to hate whatever comes onscreen, then they go off and spread their narrow opinions.
Well, other than being really really picky, I think for a reboot – Child’s Play 2019 is bang on the money.
Ok, so instead of a possessed doll, Child’s Play 2019 is something more like a killer toy version of Alexa. Buddi is an artificially intelligent Doll. Designed for the modern family, he syncs with all your Kaslan Products. He keeps an eye on your kids, remembers their favourite shows and he is the best friend every kid deserves to have (that’s the sale angle anyways).
Manufactured in a Vietnamese factory a disgruntled worker decides he’s going to switch off the safety protocols of a Buddi doll, before he throws himself out of a window.
After seeing the Buddi doll may be faulty, a shopper returns it to the store – where a single mum, to a kid called Andy, works. She takes Buddi home and the rest is history.
The best thing about a reboot is that it’s a new start to an already existing fictional universe. It gives other creative minds the opportunity to put their new stamp on an old idea.
One of my favourite things about this reboot is that it’s taken something implausible (voodoo and possession) and made it plausible (computers, internet, the cloud, artificial intelligence). The “fear of technology” isn’t a new concept when it comes to horror films, but it does help to draw you in when you can conceive the idea as a true possibility.
Lars brings the Chucky Franchise out of the Voodoo age and into the Digital Age. The kids have phones, the old lady across the hall can finally work Uber and drones are on sale at Zed Mart; If there’s a time to be scared of AI, the time is now.
My second favourite thing about this movie is Andy and his mates. This kinda ties in with the 80’s theme of adventure nostalgia seen in the new IT film and Stranger Things the Netflix Series. People are mad for a bit of kids against the world. I thought the acting was brilliant and the dialogue and interaction with the kids, the adults and even Chucky was believable, engaging and funny. Quite a few times through the film I couldn’t help but think Chucky was the cutest! I even felt sad for Andy and Chucky when Falyn pulled the power source out of Chucky’s chest.
I thought Lars did a smashing job of sharing out the credit while also making the new Child’s Play New. Not only were there a bunch of nods to the original Child’s Play but also to a whole other movie catalogue from around the same time.
From the very start, the original Orion logo in the opening credits was probably what had me bought and sold. I remember it vividly from all my favourite films when I was a little kid. I remember it at the start of Robocop and of course Lars even slotted a reference to that in too.
There’s a few little eggs for Child’s Play, the most obvious being the Doll, Andy, his (almost single) Mum and of course the whole thing gets started with a violent death on a stormy night.
Other acknowledgements are when Andy begins the Buddi set-up he tries to call the Doll Han-Solo. Mark Hamill is the voice of Chucky and played Luke Skywaker in the Star Wars films. Han Solo was the other main guy in Star Wars and Chucky just ends up naming himself completely ignoring the Han Solo suggestion.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 is a slasher movie from 1986. About this time, a whole host of slasher-gore films were beginning to pop up where comedy was a staple element. Seeing how everyone finds it hilarious to see Leatherface wearing a victims skin during a scene where Andy and his new mates are having a movie night, Chucky becomes kind of inspired by the violent scenes on-screen and decides to give it a go himself.
From 1988 – the year the original Child’s Play was released, Andy’s Bedroom has posters of Poltergeist III and Killer Klowns from Outer Space.
Killer Klowns is another Horror-Comedy. Like in E.T the Extra Terrestrial, another 80’s movie, Chucky’s finger lights up when he is controlling various Kaslan products.
In the 90’s another movie franchise began called Leprechaun, about…. you guessed it, a Leprechaun. Only this Leprechaun is pure psycho killer. Like Child’s Play and Texas Horror, this too is riddled with funny scenes of death and violence. You can see the reference in the Zed-Mart toward the end of the film where there’s the Leprechaun version of the Buddi2 doll and the Pot of Gold accessories.
There’s a couple other eggs hidden in there but you should just have a crack at trying to see them yourself by watching it again.
I know I will be.
It’s the best reboot I’ve ever seen and I am already hoping there’s a sequel.
Zero-nine-eight yanked down on the stiff metal handle of the giant metal door; it didn’t budge.
She pulled down on it with all her weight, then she jumped up and pushed down on it. Nothing.
Almost out of energy, she tugged hard and pulled down again, her skinny arms stretched upward as she hung from it and her bum grazed the floor. It wasn’t giving even slightly.
She looked about with a mix of fear and anger on her face. She had been running around in a labyrinth of corridors for what felt like hours and her bare feet were so cold they hurt.
There was a keypad too high up to reach next to the door but she didn’t know what she could do about that anyway, they always used a different number on the one in her room.
Brick walls lined the long corridors of concrete floors. There were three different kinds of lights; Long fluorescent strips in the middle of the ceiling which were off at the moment, small tinted red round ones on the wall about two meters apart, which were also off – finally, small white rectangle ones evenly spaced between the red ones, which were on. Most of them didn’t work and there wasn’t a great deal of light, but Zero-nine-eight could see there were no vents, no holes, no spaces to hide in or crawl through.
As she was about to head back the way she came, the hall lit up with the red lights which seemed to be swirling, followed by a shrill siren which sounded three times and stopped.
They were back.
Zero-nine-eight fell down, startled. She scrambled herself backwards into the corner next to the metal door. There was a light beeping noise followed by heavy metal grinding noise from behind the it and she saw the handle move downward. Frozen in the corner, the door swung open, trapping her in the space behind it as it opened slowly until wall stopped it. For the moment she was shielded from the those coming through the it.
“Lieutenants, round up Zero-nine-zero through to Zero-nine-nine”, boomed a voice.
“Yessir, Commander”, came two more voices in unison.
“Take them to the ship, but be discreet. There are a lot of people about this time of day. Use the Trojan.”
“On it Sir”, and that was it; the bright white fluorescent strip lights came on in the ceiling and the red swirling lights stopped. She heard footsteps heading away before hearing the beeping noises again and the door began to move closed.
It swung slowly and she crept around following it. She peered around but it was completely black. As the gap became smaller she gulped and taking a big breath back, she went through.
We had picked up driving snacks and water in Asda and my co-pilot, Sam, was passing me crisps dipped in sour cream and slices of broccoli quiche as we went. We only stopped once an hour after leaving Hull; I wanted a Soya Milk Cappuccino from Starbucks – nom.
Only as we were approaching the last few junctions into Coventry, did I lose my head. My leg began to ache again and I could feel the skin around the bite getting tight.
So when a van with three men in the front pulled out on me at the roundabout, I shouted every swearword, held my horn down and made sure they saw me sign them. Naturally when I saw they were shouting something back, I was enraged.
“Ugh – who do they think they are? Shouting back?!?! I’m going back round!! I’m gona drive into them.”
“Oook, calm down, calm down -” everyone soothed.
Trying my hardest to get a grip of myself I said, “Sorry, I’m tired and my leg hurts.”
“Shall I drive the last bit?” Sam asked.
“There’s only 18 minutes left, I’ll be ok” – I could almost hear everyone’s thoughts: You might be ok, but we aren’t, you psycho. “- thanks though.”
A few minor rants later we were at the Apartment we had booked.
We parked up next to an SUV with its windows down and plumes of Ganja smoke pouring out.
“Let us in”, I joked.
And that’s when the heavens opened, no really- let us in, I thought.
On the way from Hull we had gone from fluffy clouds, rain, big black grey clouds and stunning sunshine. We really had no idea what to expect from the weather tonight. Google had changed its mind every time we looked.
We grabbed every bag and case we could, nobody was going back out in that – and we scrambled for the front door and sweated up 2 flights of stairs.
It was 3pm.
For the next few hours the rain came down like it was trying to cleanse Coventry of some biblical stain. Never mind Spice Girls, it was looking more like Drowned Girls. The doors to the arena opened at 5pm but there was no way we would be there by then and none of us could see sense in getting there so early.
The others were only too excited to go to the concert and all I could think is how much I wanted to put my PJ’s on and rest my leg. Going out in the cold rain was the last thing I wanted to do. I may have been feeling sorry for myself, but I was genuinely gutted.
The day was ruined.
Within half an hour I was pretty much done and ready. It worked out well because I don’t think I could have managed any other Spice. I had the easiest dress up; trainers on my feet and Braids in my hair.
“I need help with my eyelashes”
“I can’t do my make up”
“What can I do with my hair?”
– well lucky for these lot, I was a bit of a Skilled Spice too and after a bit of sticking and a bit of spraying and lots of puffing and blowing and yanking – I had a Baby Spice, a Scary Spice and a Ginger Spice to go with my Sporty Spice.
….It only took 2 and half hours.
Ok, so everyone looked amazing and I couldnt help feeling excited again.
Time for a photo shoot – well, a phone propped up in front of the TV with a timer on – shoot.
We Zig-a-Zig-ahhed, peace signed and pouted for a good 20 minutes before I looked out the window – ughhh it was so deflating, but Sam and Kate and Alex seemed completely unaffected. All I could think is how gorgeous they all looked and how washed out we would be after the rain got us.
“Did anyone bring a brolly?”…
“No”, everyone chimed.
Sam was counting the Uber down and we knew we would have to make a run for it. As the Uber approached it seemed the rain was getting worse.
We all started to check and pack our little bags.
We touched up our make up.
“Cigs, phones, keys…??”
“Three minutes, ok lets head down”, Sam shouts.
Everyone chugged their final drinks.
“Have you got the tickets?” Kate asks.
“Oooh my God, noooo”, shouts Sam with a giggle, “I almost left them”.
“SAAAMMM!!!” we all shout.
“I’m too excited”, she squeals as she shoves them into her little pink backpack. Thank God for Kate.
We made it down the stairs without falling down them, which was a win considering the Heels on everyone but me.
By the time we were in the Uber, the downpour was so horrendous, we could barely see out of the windows.
I was now Grumpy Spice.
I’m just going to stand at the bar, I want to go home, is it over yet, my leg hurts so bad, this is shit… of course I didn’t say any of that, but you could have probably read it on my face.
As we were pulling into the side of the arena, Sam, Kate and Alex were a gaggle of gorgeous squealing Spice Girl fangirls; meanwhile, I was looking for those people selling ponchos on the side of the road because that was where I was going to ask the driver to pull up.
There were two poncho sellers as we got out the car. A woman first then a man almost right behind her.
I saw immediately what they were selling were little more than bin-liners with hoods.
“How much for four?” I call to the lady.
“Three Pounds each!” She says and I can’t help but scoff.
“Give us four for a tenner?” I ask and she shakes her head in disgust and mutters something under her breath.
The guy behind saw me and I shouted the same over to him, he resisted a little, but Sam was on it and already pushing a soggy £10 note into his hand. Defeated, he dished out the hoods.
“Yessss!” Why I felt this was such a win is beyond me, but I was chuffed to bits with my tinted pink bin-liner hooded poncho.
So with my mood lifted, despite the god-awful rain, the only thing really messing me up now, was my leg. The cues were only a few people deep, so we had timed it perfectly… or had we?
We weren’t waiting long to get into the arena and out of the rain but once inside, there was a 15 minutes wait for the toilets, (I wasn’t bothered about that- I was just happy to be out the rain) and the brief moment on the loo was sweet relief to my poor foot while I was sat down.
The next cue was the food and beer cue!! This was easy going to be half an hour. There may have been nobody in the cues outside, but that was because they were all in cues in the arena waiting for beer and burgers.
In all our waiting about in different cues, I noticed all the men. From 16 to 60!! There were loads of them. What were they all doing here. Spice Girls had a following that surpassed a thousands of 8 year-old school girls and I was shocked to see the range of their audience. But the more the merrier, I guess.
Through the gaps in the stands we could see the rain was stopping. Even in our plastic ponchos and half sodden, we were still the best dressed Spice Girls in the arena and I was chuffed to bits at how awesome everyone looked.
I won’t say what we ended up paying for 4 pints and a burger, but what really pissed me off was that it said there was a veggie option on the menu and when our own Ginger Spice, Kate, asked for one, the server said nowhere in the arena does veggie food!! She was a total bitch about it too (we even saw someone with chips a bit later, but it was way too late at that point). So I hope karma gets a hold of her and gives her a severe rash or something for being so rude. Poor Kate settled for a bit of a burger bun, but she was far too excited to care.
Anyyyyyways!!! Finally we were getting somewhere, the rain had become nothing more than a trickley spit. That was enough for Alex and Sam – they tore off their plastic ponchos in an epic effort to show up the real Spice Girls! Alex even looked so good she ended up on Mel B’s Instagram. G’wwwaaan Alex!
As for me and Kate, we were a little more skeptical about the weather and ours stayed on a little longer. I was keeping mine on because as soon as we found a spot away from the crowd down the side of the arena, I planted myself on the floor. I was going to drink my beers and rest my leg.
I didn’t care who was looking (everyone looked). I’d had less than 3 hours sleep, I’d driven two and half hours and barely sat down since I got out the car, I was cold and wet, my leg hurt and worst of all… I WAS THIRTY TODAY!!!!
Yes, I felt sorry for myself. More than anyone had felt sorry for themselves in the history of feeling sorry for themselves. I was sitting on the floor of that stadium until I had finished this beer and that was that.
It was my birthday and I’ll sulk if I want to.
Ten minutes into my resting-sulk, a ripple of commotion began fluttering through the crowd. It was too early for Spice Girls so it could only be Jess Glynne, the support act; one of Alex’s favourite singers.
I had no choice, something was starting and as patient as Kate and Sam and Alex had been, they needed to be closer to the show – who was I to hold them back.
Maybe it was the beer, maybe it was the atmosphere, (or maybe I really just needed that ten minutes on the floor) but as music started I was lifted (figuratively and physically, because I needed a hand up). Alex, Kate and Sam’s excitement and squeals were infectious.
To me and a lot of others around us, Jess Glynne looked a lot like she was coming out of a Ket-hole and she seemed tired and bored. My sister on the other hand, couldn’t have been more thrilled and was having the time of her life, so that was good enough for me.
As the crowds grew louder laughing, singing and dancing, it was as though the Sun wanted in on the action, and glorious orange beams of light began to light up the arena; it was time to lose the ponchos.
… and go for another wee… and get more beer!
Alex and Kate went first, missing the last two songs from Jess Glynne’s Crack Set and with only minutes to spare Sam and I decided to brave it.
After fighting our way through the crowds… well I smashed people out the way dragging Sam behind me – we finally made up to the stairs, then down to the toilets where 40 other women waited in line. Now if there hadn’t of been attendants checking the male toilet doors, we would have happily hovered over a urinal but not wanting to get thrown out, I restrained myself. So from Stand 23, I dragged my Baby Spice all the way to stand 36 where we waited all of 3-4 minutes for a loo.
As it turns out, Sam’s feet didn’t hurt until I made her run 13 stands worth of arena…
“Aw no, we still need beers”, Sam reminded me. Feeling a little bad for being the most comfy and agile Spice Girl at this point, (as well as for my Grumpy behaviour) I decided to take one for the team because minutes before I was due to be served, we heard the Intro to Spice up your Life.
“Sam, Go Go, get us a little vid of the opening!!!” I shouted, getting butterflies and goosebumps all over. It took everything I had not to start screaming with the overwhelming excitement I felt in that moment.
“No, I can’t it’s your birthday, you go”, Sam argued.
“Get your Baby Spice Ass up them stairs now, I will be up in a minute I am almost being served” I shouted. With the biggest grin and a little squeak she was flying up the stairs!!
Moments later I had 5 bottles and was running up the stairs after her.
AND THERE THEY WERE!!!!!!
Every good thing I remember about being a little girl was right there!! The Mother Ducking Spice Girls Baby!!!!!!!
It took my breath away!! The real girls were stood right there, singing their hearts out. Trotting up and down the stage like they did in their 20’s. Here they were now, with a whole generation of life and experiences behind them like we all did. They had all grown-up!! But here we were and I felt eight years old again.
Grabbing my hand and with so much hysterical energy that it almost came off, Sam took over dragging us both back to the spot where Alex and Kate were waiting.
When they saw us through the crowds we were finally complete. We were a frenzy of screams and squeals.
We sang, we laughed, we cuddled, we screamed, we cheered, we danced we screamed and cheered some more!
I was not prepared for how overwhelmed and emotional I felt seeing our childhood superstars chatting and laughing and singing right in front of us. I imagine a lot of people might think, Oh Come On, it’s only the Spice Girls for God sake; but to think when I was a little girl, going to concerts just didn’t happen to us, they were just too expensive. So stood there, in that moment, it was like we were at a concert we had been waiting 20 years to go to.
It may have been a helluva day –
But it was nothing compared to the birthday night of my life.
The night was mindblowing from one song to the next! The Spice Girls, from what I have read, have had some rave reviews. I aren’t going to go into much detail about the night with the girls on stage. They were absolutely fantastic and deserved every bit of praise they get and if you didn’t get chance to go then I am sorry you missed out.
MAIN CAST: Mena Massoud, Naomi Scott, Will Smith, Merwan Kenzari
RUNNING TIME: 2hr 8min
There are spoilers below…
So as far as I’m concerned, if Guy Ritchie wants to make more Musicals then I will back that situation 100%.
Aladdin follows the almost identical story-line of its 1992 cartoon original. Aladdin, a poor thief on the streets of Agrabah, meets Princess Jasmine and falls in love with her. It’s not until Aladdin finds a magical Lamp and a Genie within, that he can become a Prince and be worthy of her. Of course, an evil sorcerer threatens all of these wonderful romantic plans so it is up to Aladdin, his monkey-friend Abu, a loyal magic Carpet and Aladdin’s Genie to save them all.
As for all things technical; when it comes to the way this film is shot, in all it’s bright and beautiful glory, I was wide-eyed and taken in. I have always enjoyed Ritchie’s style of camerawork and editing, and this film is different from his usual grit. It’s vivid and colourful from start to finish, mimicking the rich vibrancy of the cartoon. Compared to Live-Action, there can be a lot of unnatural manoeuvrability with camerawork and lighting in a cartoon, so Ritchie’s style is a perfect match since Disney clearly wanted a ‘live-animation’ equivalent of the Original.
The setting of the City and the Palace is almost stage-like, which is a common design for Musical Movies because they’re built for ease of dancing and movement (not only from the actors but the set and props too). It’s a layout which adds to the feel of animation because of how it moves in the background to make way for the action of the characters.
Although I can understand the stage-like layout of the film, despite the controversy attached to the place, props and detail (more on that soon), I was really disappointed in the costume designs. They were very Disneyland-esque and I won’t be surprised if they are on mass production for the staff in theme parks, or when identical outfits are flying out of Disney stores the world over.
From late last year, I heard a lot of dubious comments and opinions from people when it was announced that there would be a Live-Action Aladdin, and of course there were going to be; an unknown fact about Disney’s original Aladdin cartoon, was that it had a bit of bad press back in the day when it sparked racial controversy. It may have claimed more than a whopping $500 million at the Box Office, but between racist lyrics in the songs to the prejudice depiction of the antagonist characters, it really hit a nerve with Middle Eastern and North African audiences, and rightly so.
A real problem with blockbuster movies and the size of the audience they command (especially in a young audience, like Aladdin), is that prejudice representations of any creed or cultures leave a real-world impression ( to be fair, any negative stereotypes perpetuate adverse impressions on races, sexes, sexual orientations, religions… the list goes on). In some ways I see it as borderline irresponsible of film-makers, when its possible their audience could be naive enough to take these depictions seriously.
Characters and Lyrics aside (because Ritchie has changed them somewhat), Orientalism is the main perpetrator casting a shadow over both Aladdin movies.
Orientalism is something which has grown into a monster in terms of how the western world seem to imagine the Eastern world. It has been growing since the late 1800’s in things like art and stories which have almost always come from an outsiders perspective opposed to someone with knowledge and experience of actual communities and their cultures, traditions or beliefs.
Aladdin is a film that cemented Orientalism into the western perception far before Ritchie got his hands onto it. Despite how well I think Guy Ritchie has done creating a film with colour, more in-depth character development (compared to the cartoon) and humour (personally, I don’t think Will Smith had some bad lines); I think he still managed to ignore most of the free lessons critics and advocacy groups have expressed about the problems in the original.
Although there’s a lot of improvement in the characters (thankfully the Sultan isn’t a babbling man-baby and the Genie, for all his power, wants to go on a date), the costumes make the actors look like life-sized dolls and the whole city design from the Palace to the River to the Market is make-belief of all the pretty things from Asia and North Africa. There is no real depth, and for all the talk about ‘the people’ by Princess Jasmine, the film has almost nothing to do with them.
This film could be set anywhere, and its that transparency that acts as an affront to Middle Eastern and African culture insulted by the original cartoon. Or, perhaps the point was since Aladdin comes from a mishmash of cultures it is set in a place-less place; I aren’t sure that is good enough, maybe it should have been set in the Grand Canyon, Niagra Falls, Washington DC or on Route 66 if that was the case, and Disney should not make a culturally contraversial film if they aren’t going to do their utmost to respect and teach about the culture they’re portraying.
As it stands, on the surface, Ritchie simply made the 1992 Aladdin into a Live-Action Movie and not a lot more.
MAIN CHARACTERS: Jack Gore, Miya Cech, Benjamin Flores Jr., Alessio Scalzotto
RUNNING TIME: 1hr 38min
There are spoilers below…
treat of a film this turned out to be.
Rim of the World: Dariush, Zhenzhen, Alex, Gabriel
the World is about four totally different kids that meet at a summer camp.
Abandoned by the adults, it’s up to Alex, Dariush, Zhenzhen and Gabriel to save
the world when Aliens invade.
If you watch it close enough you will see that is only one part of what this movie has to offer; there are layers, upon layers, upon layers to this film.
stuffed to the ‘rim’ of movie references from the last thirty-odd years making
it a relatable, fun flick for adults and kids alike. It’s a mix of Sci-Fi, Horror,
Adventure and Comedy genres, and it has absolutely no qualms with throwing
every stereotype in the book into the mix.
recently audiences have been going mad for the likes of Stranger Things and IT
for their nostalgic throwback to the Western World’s most favoured Adventure
blockbusters of the last few decades. Movies like ET, Goonies and Breakfast
Club were the backbone of Generation X. Unlike Stranger things and IT, Rim of
the World is set in the present, but with the same sort of adventure format.
Generation Z benefits from references of movies like Gladiator and Rush Hour
and then more recently the Millennials will be more familiar with Wolverine and
countless politically incorrect inferences we have all grown up on to pack a
funny punch; filmmakers have cleverly highlighted contentious issues, instead
of hiding them beneath the surface as a cheap gag trick. The main clue that
this film is openly commenting on politically charged stereotypes or agendas is
when Carl & Logan, the Camp Leaders (who are also “the black men on
Campus”) are sitting about the campfire talking about Toy Story 3. It’s
not to say that Carl & Logan’s interpretation of Toy Story 3 is true
(“the ruling class justification for the inferior conditions of the working
class”), but it is how the filmmakers say to the audience, “yes,
films are meant to talked about; yes, they have hidden meanings and agendas –
including this film; and yes, we know what we are doing – that’s the
list all of the film references in the movie, I am sure there are a tonne of websites
that’ve already made it their mission to; besides, spotting them yourself is
part of the fun because for many of them it’s just one line of dialogue or a
prop or special effect that’s the reference instead of the actual name of the
think is so important to take away from the film is its coming of age theme and
The guy that wrote the film, Zack, has mentioned in a few interviews about the emotional importance of the films he grew up on in the 80’s and the lessons they taught him and millions of others. They relied a lot on how kids in the audience identified with what the characters are going through. Childhood traumas like bullying, poverty, grief, peer-pressure or some sort of in-house/domestic abuse are usually used as part of the background info in most of the main character arcs. In Rim of the World, it’s all about abandonment. Alex’s Father died traumatically in front of him, Dariush’s Father is going to Jail, Gabriel’s Father leaves when he’s Ten and Zhenzhen is an orphan – Not to mention they’re all left alone by the ‘adult camp leaders’ when the whole movie kicks off.
the plot of the all these Generation X movies features a Headmaster or Evil
Grown-up, a Monster, or in this case Alien, which acts as the metaphor for the
main characters’ trauma and how they overcome it is always based on how they
pull together and ‘Stand By’ each other; it’s the lessons they learn through
their friendship that gives them strength, not just in the immediate battle,
but also the one they are fighting at home or school.
the World packs a LOT into an hour and half. I could mention that I thought the
special effects were kind of wooden and I could say the introduction of the
characters and even some of the interaction and dialogue sometimes felt awkward
and unnatural and I don’t think many would disagree. However, the fact that
it’s full of hints and clichés from the last forty years makes me thinks all of
this part of its purposeful charm.
it does well to be its own unique take on western pop-culture. It brings
together the last three generations of audiences in a hilarious, albeit crude
and obvious, complement of one-liners, shoddy CGI explosions and an evil looking
monster while also facing the crushing trauma of family torment with your best
mates at your side.
It is no secret how much I love my cat-fam. Hugo, Patch, Jessie & Batcat.
I’m so boring when it comes to my cats and I can almost feel everyone’s eyes roll into the backs of their heads when I start to tell yet another story about them. If I work with you, if you’re my friend, neighbour or family, or a stranger in the street, you will hear me talk about at least one of my four cats during an encounter.
This one is about Patch.
I used to have a beautiful black cat called Scarlet but she took it upon herself to leave me and I never saw her again 😦
She just never came home.
Since then, I have been dreading the day that I notice I’m a cat down.
I mentioned a few weeks ago that my cute but scraggly Batcat, had her momentous achievement of getting into the house through the cat-flap (it had been months of trying to coax, cajole and con her to use it). Since then, not only does she come in, but she goes out too; she’s a fully fledged cat-flapper-cat.
Alas, a few days after the cat-flap breakthrough, Patch decided that the day had come to put me through the same trauma as Scarlet.
Although Patch is one of my more aloof Kitties and only comes to have the odd bit of attention when no other cat is about, I can always rely on her come meet me in the street when I home from a night-shift..
On the fateful morning of April 12th I didn’t get my usual fussy Hello.
A little worried, but also aware of my tendency to over-react, I went to bed knowing I would be up in an hour or two for my new KCom Lightstream upgrade, (that’s fibre broadband to you non-Hull natives) and she would probably be home by then.
Less than two hours later I was awakened by my horrifcally loud door-bell and two very polite, smiling (& strapping) KCom engineers.
“In there fella’s,” I directed them to the living room at the back of the house, “help yourselves”. I stuck my head out of the front garden gate and gave a short whistle for Patch. Nope, still no sign (“don’t over-react, don’t over-react, don’t over-react”).
After a few trips in and out of the back garden, the odd whirring of drilling and stapling of wires, they were done “Bye, Love” they say, and they were off.
Still, in the hours to come, there was no sign of my fur-baby Patch. Thoughts of all the horror stories I had ever heard were beginning to race through my mind and by tea-time I had resided myself to the fact that she wasn’t coming home or she was cold, injured and hiding – alone and frightened somewhere.
I went out several times into the night looking for her. Every moment that passed only convinced me more that she was gone for good.
By the next day I had over 50 shares on a Facebook post, had driven about Hull with my sister following up on any dead cat sightings people posted about and replied to several comments and messages from well wishers and cat lovers alike providing me with comforting advice (which surprisingly enough, actually was comforting).
"She may have been spooked and is hiding until it's safe to come back"
"She may have just gone exploring, Cats do this from time to time"
"Mine was missing a whole two weeks before she came back, I know what you're going through, try not to get too upset at this point"
Other comments included advice about when was best to go and look for her and different ways to lure her back.
It was a horrible day at work, I was worrying the whole time. It was so nice to hear from people and what their experiences had been. I was trying to convince myself that this was a normal thing that could happen and maybe I shouldn’t bee too worried at this point; it had only been a day (this was not me over-reacting by the way).
By the end of the day, one of my posts had racked up nearly 80 shares. That may not seem a big deal to some people but to me I was so grateful that there was a whole 80 people that wanted to help me out.
It was a late finish from work and it wasn’t until 11:30pm that I rocked up at home with a frog in my throat when I realised for a second day that she wasn’t home. All the comments and well wishing that had kept me calm through the day didn’t seem to mean much when I didn’t see her trot up to me in the street.
It was a little after midnight when I went back out shaking my treats, with no real expectation of seeing Patch… but who comes trotting around the corner like nothing had happened?
None other than Mohammed Ali… haha – kidding, it was my little fluff-ball, Patch.
Of course I spent the next 20 minutes sobbing uncontrollable tears of joy and Patch did nothing but try and wriggle free wondering why I was being so clingy.
She hasn’t done it since. In fact, in the last few weeks since she has even taken to sleeping upstairs with the rest of the cat-fam. I aren’t complaining.
Films are multi-medial. They are a visual and auditory platform.
Because our imagination is stimulated by both sounds and pictures at the same time Films take command of more of our senses than most other Art to create special atmospheres, feelings or to bring out emotions.
The Visual and Auditory techniques used to tell the story are things like sounds, music, lighting, camera angles, and editing. Then films can be interpreted by the literary elements such as plot, setting, characterisation, structure, and theme and the text in the screenplay.
What is important is how all the elements are used together in making a good film and how effortlessly they blend together.
Below are a few of the main things you to look out for when you’re reading a film.
Plot and structure
Plot is the pattern of events arranged to emphasise links between events
Setting is where and when the story takes place.
Conflict or tension is usually the heart of the film and is related to the main characters.
Characterisation is how the characters are described.
Narrator and point of view
The narrator is the person telling the story. Point of view means through whose eyes the story is being told.
Genre’s are a series of socially agreed conventions within the story (or in this case, the film) developed over time.
In films imagery are the elements used to create pictures in our minds. They may include:
Theme’s are the universal ideas that shine through in the film (in other words, what is it about, in general)?
The soundtrack is not only dialogue and music, it is all the other sounds in a film too.
Use of the camera
A camera shot is based on the camera’s distance from the object. A camera angle is how the camera is tilted while filming.
Lighting focuses the audience’s attention on the main character or object in a film & it sets the mood or atmosphere.
Editing is the way in which a film editor together with the director cuts and assembles the scenes. The way the scenes are joined together creates the rhythm of the motion picture. Scenes can be long and drawn out or short and choppy.
Keep an eye out for my next post about reading films….
I don’t know why I haven’t done this sooner but I guess it has been a while since I have made regular trips to Cinema.
My local Odeon Cinema, in Hull, recently had a refurbish, so I have been going almost once a or twice a week since my first time back there after it became all new and shiny. I’ve decided that I love going there so much more than any other Cinema (EVER), that I am going to make a point of going as much as I possibly can this Summer, hence the massive list.
I am even debating signing up for their Limitless Card, but I have a few commitment issues and as soon as I sign up for something, I stop wanting to do it… if that doesn’t make sense to you, then too bad; the things I do rarely make sense to me either.
There are are tonnes of films I’ve been adding to my list for a few months (here are twenty of them) and all I can do is hope they’re all going to be shown at Hull’s new Odeon.
So here is my light and fluffy (with occasional blood-soaked violence) list of films that I definitely want to see this Summer, and unless there are any secret productions that are going to drop onto my lap, I don’t see this list changing.